Indiana legislators react to GOP’s long-awaited health care bill proposal

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Senate health care bill written behind closed doors finally became public Thursday.

The proposed legislation would cut taxes by nearly $1 trillion over the next decade, mostly for corporations and the richest families in America.

Senate Republican leaders argue the bill would eliminate job-killing taxes enacted under President Barack Obama's 7-year-old health care law. Democrats countered that the bill is a giveaway to the rich at the expense of middle- and low-income families who will lose health insurance.

Legislators in Indiana were quick to react to the bill’s release.

Governor Eric Holcomb issued the following statement, highlighting the need for reform after Anthem and MDwise announced that they’ll exit Indiana’s Obamacare marketplace in 2018:

 “We will thoroughly examine the language in the U.S. Senate’s health care bill, and we’ll be thoughtful in our analysis of how it may affect Indiana’s programs and citizens—as well as the opportunities it may provide for us to better meet the needs of Hoosiers.

“This week, we learned two health care providers will exit the federal marketplace. Indiana isn’t alone; insurers are pulling out of Obamacare in states across the country. This underscores the need for reform, and Indiana is poised to lead the way if given the flexibility and time to tailor the best solutions to meet the needs of our people.”

Republican Senator Todd Young issued a statement, echoing some of the governor's thoughts:

“I am reviewing the discussion draft and speaking with folks at home, but one thing is clear: doing nothing is not an option. Obamacare has failed Hoosiers as prices have skyrocketed, insurers have left the marketplace leaving severely limited choices, and deductibles have risen to a level where for some insurance is useless.

“Just today, we confirmed there will be no insurer that covers the entire state next year. Obamacare’s continuous collapse will eventually leave Hoosiers without insurance.

“I am committed to improving our nation’s health care system so everyone has the opportunity to access high quality and affordable care.”

Democrats like Senator Joe Donnelly are concerned that the Republican held Senate is racing towards a vote without leaving time for analysis from both major parties. He says he wants the process to be more partisan. His statement is below:

“I believe most Hoosiers, like myself, are sick and tired of almost a decade of partisan debates about health care.  And I know that if we’re going to improve the health care system to provide quality affordable health care, it’s going to take all of us working together.  That includes those who provide health care every single day — doctors, nurses, hospitals — and most importantly, the people who rely on our health care system.

“The bill before us was drafted in secret and behind closed doors, and I’m very concerned that the Senate is racing toward a vote without the necessary input, analysis, or even a single Senate hearing.  The stakes are incredibly high—this is about the health, well-being, and economic security of families, children and adults with disabilities, and older Hoosiers.  I continue to urge my colleagues to work together to improve health care system.”